ARCH30810 Southeast and East Asian Archaeology

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will introduce you to the archaeology of Southeast and East Asia. The aim is that you will develop a good fundamental understanding of the main historical and methodological trends in the archaeology of the region, and an appreciation for the global significance of the archaeology of this area in prehistoric and historic times. Themes to be addressed include: human evolution and the early peopling of the region, regional prehistory and interactions between Southeast and East Asia, and between both areas and other parts of the world (in particular South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, and Australasia and Oceania). We will also touch upon major issues in archaeology, such as theories of state formation, colonialism (ancient and modern), modern economic development and heritage, climate change and biodiversity, and the impact of humans over time on the landscape.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module you will have learned an introductory base for Southeast Asian archaeology and supporting East Asian archaeology, and an understanding of how this region plays a vital role in global understandings of prehistory and history, as well as many issues in heritage and development. Through the variety of assessments you will demonstrate your ability to interrogate, synthesise, and present data and theoretical models in archaeology.

Indicative Module Content:

- Southeast Asian prehistoric and historic archaeology
- aspects of East Asian prehistoric and historic archaeology
- relations with South Asia and the 'Indian Ocean World'
- relations with Australasia and Oceania
- aspects of human evolution and peopling of the region, development of 'states', trade and influence
- aspects of archaeological history and interpretative frameworks: e.g. colonialism, nationalism, regionalism, development and archaeology, archaeology's role in heritage tourism, ecotourism, community museums etc.
- aspects of ethnoarchaeology, heritage management
- what archaeology can teach us regarding climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem change, human impact and adaptation

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This modules includes: lectures, seminars, presentations, group and solo assessments. For 2021-22 the module is designated as blended or hybrid; this means that if possible we will do certain activities in the classroom (pandemic-dependant), and certain activities will be online via Brightspace and Zoom (regardless of pandemic conditions). 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Poster - group poster (A3 size) on topics TBA. Presented in the format of an online conference poster session; anonymous peer review & questions (unmarked); marked by lecturer Week 10 n/a Graded Yes


Essay: 2500 word essay on a topic TBA Week 6 n/a Graded Yes


Presentation: Presentation - in-class or online, as a live talk with powerpoint presentation, or a video (scripted) presentation. Presentations will be 10 mins maximum in length. Topics TBA Week 8 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Anonymous peer review will be used for poster and presentation assessment - for comments only - peer comments will be included anonymously in the individual assessment. The grades will be given by the lecturer. All other feedback will be individually given to each student for each assignment.

Textbooks we will use:
-Barnes, G. 2015. Archaeology of East Asia: the Rise of Civilization in China, Korea and Japan. Oxford: Oxbow. (Available online via James Joyce Library OneSearch)
-Miksic, J.N. and Goh Geok Yian. 2016. Ancient Southeast Asia. London: Routledge.

Pre-course readings (available online as pdfs - used google search):
- Stark, M. 2015. Archaeology of Southeast Asia, in J.D. Wright (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol. 23. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 63-69
- Chapters 1, 3, 4 (and any more you can handle) in Barnes 2015
- Chapters 1-3 in Miksic and Goh Geok Yian 2016
Name Role
Dr Stephen Davis Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 12:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 13:00 - 13:50